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Thread: I was tricked

  1. Member
    Interested in Language
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • China

    • Join Date: Dec 2011
    • Posts: 327

    I was tricked

    I tried to do some reading today to improve English. I picked Heymingway's "the old man and the sea" because someone told me Heymingway's novels are easy to understand.
    Then I realized it wasn't true. I just started reading but constantly found wierd expressions. For example,

    "benevolent skin cancer", What in the world is "benevolent skin cancer"? Does that collocation even exist?
    "Where are you going?" "Far out to come in when the wind shifts." I am completely clueless about what it means by "far out to come in when thewind shifts."
    Mondern people don't use English that way do they?

    So I started wondering whether I should continue to use Heymingway's novels as my learning resource. Should I pick contemporary novels to learn English since it represents the English people now speak and use?

    What are you guys' opinions? I'd love to know:)

    Thank you!

  2. Editor,
    English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Laos

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 59,741

    Re: I was tricked

    Hemingway has acquired this reputation, but using simple sentence structures and a simple vocabulary doesn't necessarily make a text easy to follow.

    I'd never heard of benevolent skin cancer, but this site suggests it's a slower form: Basal Skin Cancer - Early Retirement & Financial Independence Community.
    The second suggests to me that the person is going to sail a long way and only come back when the wind changes and brings him back.


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